India captain Virat Kohli’s phenomenal batting form today fetched him the BCCI’s best cricketer award for two seasons, while World Cup stars Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana were chosen for the women’s equivalent of the honour, the Board announced.
“Following his phenomenal show in the past two seasons, Team India captain Virat Kohli will be presented with the prestigious Polly Umrigar Award for the best international cricketer (2016-17 and 2017-18) at the BCCI Awards to be held in Bengaluru on June 12,” the BCCI stated.
In the 2016-17 season. Kohli amassed 1332 runs in 13 Tests at a phenomenal average of 74, while he averaged 84.22 for his 1516 runs in 27 ODIs during the period. In the six Tests played in the 2017-18 seasons, Kohli scored 896 runs at an average of 89.6, while ODI average stands at 75.50.
Kohli will walk away with a prize money of Rs 15 lakh for each season in the men’s category, while Harmanpreet and Mandhana, both of whom played a crucial role in India’s impressive runners-up finish at the World last year, will become maiden recipients of the awards for best international cricketer (women) for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons respectively.
To honour former President Jagmohan Dalmiya, the BCCI has rechristened four awards in remembrance of the late administrator.
“The Jagmohan Dalmiya Trophy will be presented to the leading run-scorer and wicket-taker respectively in the U-16 Vijay Merchant Trophy and to the Best Junior and Senior Cricketer in women’s cricket.”
The Board also raised prize money for nine categories by Rs. one lakh and it now stands at Rs. 1.5 lakh. Also, in a first, the Board has decided to bestow the lifetime achievement award (2016-17) on the late Pankaj Roy after some confusion on whether it can be given to the former batsman posthumously.
The Cricket Association of Bengal was adjudged the best State Association (2016-17)while the Delhi and District Cricket Association got the prize for the 2017-18 season.
“The last two years have been fabulous for Indian Cricket with both the men and women’s teams doing very well. We are proud of their achievements and this is our small way of acknowledging their on-field efforts,” Committee of Administrators Chairman Vinod Rai said.
Another CoA member, Diana Edulji, who declined the lifetime achievement award (2016-17) owing to her position, also congratulated the winners.
“This year we will be presenting awards for the past two seasons and it is going to be a big occasion ahead of the historic Test against Afghanistan. For the first time, an award category for the best International Cricketer (Woman) has been introduced and it is a step in the right direction,” she said.
“For BCCI, it is an opportunity to show its gratitude towards cricketers who enrich this game with their skills and hard work,” added BCCI acting President C K Khanna.